Worth the Watch?

My honest reviews of Netflix rom-coms perfect for the holiday season

A Holiday Adventure

I decided to jump right into the holiday season with a viewing of “Holiday in the Wild,” a newly released Netflix original holiday movie. Sure, it began a little slow with an opening scene that made me believe it would just be another cheesy movie, which was not the vibe I was feeling but if you are looking for a holiday movie that embraces the true meaning of love, kindness and joy, then this is the one!

“Holiday in the Wild” follows the story of Kate, a woman who gets dumped by her husband and decides to go on a solo honeymoon to Zambia. While she’s there, she rescues an orphaned baby elephant with Derek, a helicopter pilot. In turn, Kate finds true love not only with her surroundings at an elephant rescue sanctuary, but also romantically with Derek.

Although the movie does not have a very complicated storyline, it brought a light-hearted sense of humor and emotion. There are several unintentionally funny moments, such as when Kate’s husband breaks off their marriage about 20 seconds after their son heads out the door for college, as if it was all some lifelong master plan. At one point, out of nowhere, Christmas lights, mistletoe and tinsel seem to appear, leading me to believe that there was no intention for it to be a holiday movie besides a guaranteed December release date. Overall, it’s the right amount of cheesy and a good movie to watch to ring in the holidays.

The Teen “Love Actually”


The next movie I watched was “Let it Snow,” Netflix’s attempt to capture the struggles of teenagers during the holiday season. Despite a slightly oversimplified plot line that followed four stories which all came together at the end, it made me wish for a snow day and a plate of fresh, warm waffles.

The first story shows Angie and Tobin, childhood best friends who may or may not have undisclosed feelings for each other. Then there’s Dorie, who is quite delighted that she sees her crush Tegan, until Tegan fails to acknowledge Dorie, despite their previous rendezvous. To make matters worse, Dorrie’s best friend, Addie, is hung up over her cheating boyfriend. Lastly, is the story of Julie, who is a smart, hard-working girl. Julie runs into Stuart, who is a famous musician, as he is passing through town and gets stuck due to snow. They become friends and then more than friends as they spend the day together. The stories all come together at the end somewhat confusingly as there is no lead up to this moment, but it does embrace the holiday spirit with love and happiness.

This movie plays with some of the biggest questions that teens face as they move to adulthood. Is my significant other cheating on me? How do I deal with anxiety about leaving my parents to go off to college? What do I do about feelings for my best friend? How do I navigate being a part of the LGBTQ plus community in high school? This is a good movie for teens because it shows that it’s normal to be angry, confused or depressed and that everything will be alright.

A Creative Christmas Tale

The last movie I watched was called “Santa Girl.” This was definitely not a typical holiday plot. It took on a different version of the classic story of Santa with his infamous workshop in the North Pole and somehow tackled a few societal expectations at the same time.

In this tale, Santa plays the role of a capitalist who is more concerned with profits and marketing than being jolly and spreading holiday cheer. He wants to retire and pass down the family business to his daughter, Cassie, but she just wants to live a normal life and get the full teenage experience in college. He allows her to attend college in “the real world” for one semester under the condition that she must come back and marry Jack Frost’s son to fulfill a business contract. Cassie struggles with two love interests; the slightly awkward but sweet Sam and the wealthy, handsome J.R., the son of Jack Frost. As she looks ahead to marriage, she must think about what she values the most.

Overall, I would say that this movie is not a must-see for the holidays considering that the plot seemed too predictable, even for a rom-com. On the other hand, I do think it embodies the holiday spirit due to the protagonist’s struggles with fulfilling duties to her father and to Christmas itself. In doing so, she learns that love can only come through happiness. I would recommend this movie to binge-watchers as a ridiculous but somewhat engaging story.